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Common Cauda Equina Syndrome Misdiagnoses

Cauda Equina Syndrome is frequently misdiagnosed. However, this can have terrible consequences, as cauda equina is a condition that must be treated immediately if a patient is to regain normal function.

If you have suffered because of a cauda equina misdiagnosis, you need to talk to a solicitor about making a medical negligence claim.

Was your cauda equina syndrome misdiagnosed?

Someone with the early stage of Cauda Equina Syndrome will at first notice a pain in the lower back, which may also run through the buttocks and down one or both legs. There will also be urinary changes, usually including increased need to urinate, but the inability to fully empty the bladder.

However, these symptoms are characteristic of other, more minor conditions. A doctor may therefore consider these complaints and make a wrong diagnosis. Common misdiagnoses of Cauda Equina Syndrome include:

1. Generalised lower back pain: this is a lower back pain that can have various (and often unknown) causes. A doctor may refer a patient diagnosed with lower back pain to a physiotherapist, but this will only cause more pain for a patient who has undiagnosed Cauda Equina Syndrome.

2. Fibromyalgia: this is a condition that causes pain across the entire body. A doctor may refer a patient diagnosed with fibromyalgia to a pain clinic, but this will not alleviate the problem if the patient actually has Cauda Equina Syndrome.

3. Urinary tract infection: because of the change in urinary habit, Cauda Equina Syndrome is regularly mistaken for a urinary tract infection. A patient will be given antibiotics, but again, this will not improve their symptoms.

Seeing as Cauda Equina Syndrome is easily confused with other condition, such as those described above, it is vital doctors take steps to ensure the right diagnosis has been obtained. This should include taking blood and urine samples. If something such as a urinary tract infection is suspected, these tests will confirm whether or not the diagnosis is correct.

Medical professionals should also look out for other tell-tale symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome, including reduced sensation in the buttocks, perineum and genitalia, pins and needles in the legs and sexual dysfunction. If any of these complaints are also present, doctors should immediately become wary of the possibility of spinal compression and organise an investigative scan as a matter of urgency.

Making a compensation claim for cauda equina

If medical professionals do make a misdiagnosis, meaning treatment for Cauda Equina Syndrome is delayed, the level of care will have fallen to an unacceptable level. If this causes a patient to suffer addition injuries, there will be grounds for a compensation claim.

If this has happened to you or your loved one, get in touch with us today at the Cauda Equina Solicitors.

Please call us free on 0800 234 3300, from a mobile click to call 01275 334030 or complete our Free Online Enquiry for a no cost, no obligation opinion.

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